Modification of Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper Catch Limits
NMFS is developing a rule to increase the Gulf of Mexico red grouper overfishing limit , acceptable biological catch, and commercial and recreational annual catch limits , and annual catch targets, consistent with the most recent stock analyses and subsequent Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) recommendations. This action proposes increases based upon catch limits and allocation percentages that would be implemented in Amendment 53 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan. Thus, this rule is contingent upon, and cannot be implemented without or prior to, implementation of Amendment 53.
The need for the rule is to establish catch limits that achieve optimum yield, while preventing overfishing, consistent with the recommendations by the SSC and requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.